A good working guide to the games-people-play with rationalization and other defenses against attack--from excuses for failing (""If my parents had only. . .""), to excuses parents receive from children (""He started it""), and even to those that children receive from parents. (A separate chapter advises children to establish close, friendly conversations as the norm between the generations before attempting heavy-duty subjects like sex.) The whole effort seems to rest squarely on marriage, the most intimate of relationships; and therapist/family counselor Wahlroos even goes so far as to say that 70 to 80 percent of all divorces are ""unnecessary,"" the consequence of excuses instead of true communication. But though it is worthwhile to read about the roots of in-law problems in separation anxiety, or how a spouse can use a fight about in-laws as an excuse to avoid emotional closeness, one wonders whether simply hearing that it ""behooves"" both partners to understand each other's feelings--and to treat the problem as a joint one--will be enough to turn the tide. Still, if simply recognizing the difference between excuses and true reasons is the first step toward more honest communication and a more realistic outlook, this is as good a blueprint for that first step as any.